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Oil Majors Discover More Oil In Prolific Santos Basin

A consortium led by Brazil’s state-run Petrobras has announced a discovery of more oil in the offshore Libra prospect in the pre-salt Santos Basin.

Drilling at the 3-BRSA-1305A-RJS well in the northwest area began earlier this month, and today the consortium confirmed the discovery of good quality oil in reservoirs with excellent productivity.

The well found an oil column of around 270 meters and high-quality reservoirs in communication with previous wells in this area, according to Petrobras.

The consortium, which includes Royal Dutch Shell Plc, French Total SA and China’s CNOOC and China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC), are also drilling two more wells in the Libra block as part of a three-well discovery and evaluation project currently under approval.

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The partners discovered the giant Libra field in 2010, with the first oil discovery in 2014. The field covers some 1,500 square miles and is estimated to contain between 8-12 billion barrels of oil equivalent. For Brazil, it could generate $1 trillion in revenues over three decades.

In October last year, the multinational consortium announced another hydrocarbon discovery in Libra, this week’s announcement helps prove the extension of that.

Libra is the first area auctioned off by Brazil’s oil authorities.

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As of 2013, Petrobras is the operator of the field with a 40 percent stake, Shell owns 20 percent. Total, CNOOC and CNPC own 10 percent each.

Petrobras is currently embroiled in a scandal that includes top executives, politicians, and the country’s biggest construction firms. Petrobras is also dealing with massive debt that was growing virtually unhindered for years. Its partner in the Libra project, Shell, has recently said that Petrobras should cede some of its drilling rights to private firms to ensure development of Brazil’s offshore oil wealth.

By Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com

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